Microsoft announced that, today they released the new Windows 8 operating system to the Windows 8 OEM and manufacturing partners. Side-by-side they also announced the general availability of Windows Store today for the MSDN Subscribers.
This is the first step towards the general availability of Windows 8 to the consumer and everyone is now looking for the date (26th October 2012) when it will be available for general public.
Today in a blog post “Releasing Windows 8”, Steven Sinofsky announced that, today (1st August 2012) they released the new operating system to the Windows 8 OEM and manufacturing partners. According to the blog announcement:
Today marks an important milestone in the Windows 8 project. The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.
Brandon LeBlanc, in his blog post also announced the RTM release of Windows 8 to the manufacturing and also disclosed the general availability date and price for an end user upgrading to Windows 8. According to him:
People will be able get Windows 8 starting on October 26th either by upgrading for $39.99 or on a new PC or device. And if you buy an eligible Windows 7 PC today, you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 (U.S.) through the Windows Upgrade Offer.
This is the final release of the Windows 8 to the manufacturer with the build version: #9200 and this build will be properly tested and the hardware partners will continue improving their support to the new and existing devices.
Steven also announced that, there will be thousands of new features and among them, many were already demonstrated in the Windows 8 Team blog with videos.
Some important dates of Windows 8 Release
According to Brandon LeBlanc’s blog post, here are some important dates for Windows 8 general availability:
Product released to Windows 8 OEM and Manufacturing partners
Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions
Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization
Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8
Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8
Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers
General availability of the final product
Microsoft also announced the availability of Windows 8 Store today for paid apps and company accounts. The MSDN subscribers with Visual Studio Professional, Premium, Test Professional, and Ultimate license will have one year FREE developer account for Windows Store upon free registration.
54 new markets and 24 new application certification languages have been now added. It makes 38 app submission languages in total as of now. For more details about apps, updated certification policy check out this post: “RTM Windows Store is now open for paid apps, company accounts”.